Friday, February 18, 2011

Finalists announced in the Jazz Society of Pensacola Student Jazz Competition in Florida

#JazzBluesFlorida #jazz #blues #Florida #Concerts #Festivals #Clubs

The top finalists for the Jazz Society of Pensacola's first Student Jazz Competition were announced, and the selected students will perform live in the competition finals at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at the Ashmore Auditorium at Pensacola State College.

The competition was open to students in high school and college in the greater Pensacola region.

Finalists in the college division include Jonathan Rodriguez, a tenor saxophonist from University of West Florida; Michael Malone, a trumpet player from Northwest Florida State College, Greg Lyon, a guitarist from UWF; Jackson Willis, a trombonist from Pensacola State College; and Tito Rogers, a trumpet player from Northwest Florida State College. Destiny Howard, a vocalist from UWF, was awarded honorable mention.

In the high school division, alto saxophonist Austin Connor from Booker T. Washington High School was the only student who qualified.

During the final competition, the finalists will each perform two songs in front of a panel of judges. The top three winners in the college division will earn performance spots in the 28th annual JazzFest on April 2 and will receive scholarships: $800 for first place, $600 for second and $400 for third.

Austin Connor, the winner in the high school division will also perform in JazzFest, and will receive a $600 scholarship.

While the judges are tallying their scores, an all-star band made up of professional jazz musicians will perform. The finals competition is free and open to the public.

The Jazz Society plans to make the Student Jazz Competition an annual event, and already is working on next year's event.

To enter the competition, applicants were required to be in residence or school attendance in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa or Walton county. Each contestant submitted two song recordings, which were evaluated and critiqued by a panel of judges made up of jazz musicians and educators.

To learn more about the competition, visit

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Jazz & Blues Florida

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